Great American Smokeout…

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Great American Smokeout — November 15, 2007

In 2006, approximately 45.3 million (one in five) U.S. adults were current smokers. November 15, 2007, marks the American Cancer Society’s 31st annual Great American Smokeout, an event designed to encourage cigarette smokers to quit smoking for at least 1 day so that they might quit permanently. Smoking cessation has substantial and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages.

When smokers quit:
* 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
* 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
* 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
* 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
* 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
* 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
* 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
* 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

Today, an estimated 45 million US adults smoke. Tobacco use can cause lung cancer, as well as other cancers, heart disease, and lung disease. Smoking is responsible for 1 in 3 cancer deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people are living with serious illnesses caused by smoking.

Secondhand smoke is classified as a “known human carcinogen” (cancer-causing agent) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds. More than 60 of these are known or suspected to cause cancer.

If you smoke- today is a good day to stop!

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